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Why Are Confidentiality Agreements Important in Federal Contracting

Two professionals shaking handsConfidentiality, or non-disclosure agreements, are used by federal agencies, branches of the military, and Prime contractors to protect private information. What is a confidentiality agreement? Find out more about these important agreements and your responsibilities.

What Is a Confidentiality Agreement?

This agreement may be required when working with particular government contracts. It’s designed to prevent you from disclosing government secrets, technical data, or other information to unauthorized parties.

Failure to uphold a confidentiality agreement can result in financial costs and legal issues. Be sure you fully understand the terms and conditions of this agreement before signing it. If you aren’t sure what a confidentiality agreement includes, or if you feel you may have signed an overly restrictive contract, reach out to our team at Rafael Marrero & Company to learn more about your options.

What Are the Types of Confidentiality Agreements

While the general purpose of this agreement is to protect the privacy of sensitive information, the specific obligations vary. Here are four types of confidentiality agreements that you may be asked to sign as a federal contractor:

  • Unilateral contracts: One party agrees to keep information private.
  • Reciprocal contracts: All parties agree to keep information private.
  • Standard unilateral non-disclosure agreement: Typically used to restrict information in investing or licensing cases.
  • Mutual non-disclosure agreements: All parties agree to keep information private, typically in invention or investing cases.

Why Are Confidentiality Agreements Important?

There are many cases where you’ll need to sign a confidentiality agreement with the U.S. government. These types of agreements are frequently used when contracting with the military but can be used by civilian agencies as well.

It’s important to read the limits of a confidentiality agreement. For example, the contract cannot prevent you from lawfully reporting issues to the relevant channels. If you notice instances of abuse, waste, or fraud in the procurement process, then it’s your obligation to report it regardless of non-disclosure agreements in place.

How Can I Learn More?

Learn more about confidentiality agreements and other contractual obligations before signing a contract with Uncle Sam. Rafael Marrero & Company is your leading source of helpful answers for complex business-to-government questions. Contact us to request a free consultation to explore your confidentiality obligations.

Dr. Rafael Marrero

A nationally recognized expert in federal contracting, small business entrepreneurship, vendor, and project/program management. A graduate of the prestigious Stanford and Cornell Universities, Dr. Rafael Marrero is a former Fortune 500 procurement executive, two-time Inc. 500 honoree, network news commentator, and Amazon best-selling author.

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